Friday, August 21, 2009

Icebreaker: Tell one fact about yourself..

Last month, we had Ana Lourdes Herrera from International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization over to talk about their e-learning program. The session was extremely interesting and their centre in Turin is impressive and (almost) tempts me to go back to Uni! But I am not going to talk about that.

During the meeting, she had a great icebreaker idea. She asked us to stand up (we were sitting in a formal meeting room -- around a big oval table -- the Canada Room for those who know FAO) and tell one fact about yourself that not many people know. I thought this was a great, easy icebreaker. Some people didn't have anything to say but others had some very interesting things like:
  • My great grandfather ran for president of Mexico
  • I was a practicing lawyer before I joined my organization
  • I tried to open a restaurant and failed badly
  • I am an avid supporter of Ferrari team in Formula 1
  • I am trying to win the Superenalotto!
  • My ancestors from Mom's side came from area which is now part of Afghanistan!
This method works well for introducing a subtle fact about oneself and worked well to liven up the mood in the room. It works well in groups of around 20 people, with larger groups it might take some time!

More icebreakers are available from:

Have you used this method before? What has been your experience?


Natty00Dread said...

Hi Gauri,
Yes, I have used this icebreaker before. It was part of a retreat team meeting, and was a great way to start off because we all learned something new about each other, yet I think we assumed, after years of working together that we knew each other. It sort of made everyone refresh their view of each, wow, I didnt know you were "on the Tonight Show doing tricks", or "the eldest of 18 children" or "spoke 6 languages" or "are the sister of Barak Obama!"

You think you know your colleagues....but you have no idea! great icebreaker. I also like the one where --if money were no object, where is the one place in the world you would like to be and why?

Gauri Salokhe said...

Thanks for your feedback Natalie! It's true.. you think you know your colleagues well but some very amazing facts come out. I will try out the second one and see what kind of exotic/amazing places people come up with!

Ian said...

I've used a modified version of this in smaller groups. You ask participants to tell you two true statements about themselves and one false one, and then let the group try to determine which one is false. This implicitly invites people to tell you interesting things about themselves.

Gauri Salokhe said...

That's a nice variation Ian - will have to try it!